Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius

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Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rowdy Herrington
Produced by Kim Dawson
Written by Rowdy Herrington
Bill Pryor
Starring Jim Caviezel
Claire Forlani
Jeremy Northam
Malcolm McDowell
Aidan Quinn
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Tom Stern
Edited by Pasquale Buba
McDongall Films
Distributed by Film Foundry Releasing
Release date
  • April 30, 2004 (2004-04-30)
Running time
123 minutes [1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[2]
Box office $2,707,913[2]

Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius is a 2004 biographical drama film based on the life of Bobby Jones, the only player in the sport to win all four of the men's major golf championships in a single season (1930, an era when the majors were The Amateur Championship in Britain, the U.S. Amateur, The Open Championship and the U.S. Open). The film was the first motion picture concerning the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews that was given permission to film on location.[citation needed]


In 1936, golfer Bobby Jones travels to Scotland to visit the Old Course at St. Andrews. Anxious about his reception, he is warmly welcomed by many spectators.

The scene changes to Atlanta, Georgia, where Jones, a young boy, observes his father "Colonel" Jones playing golf, poorly. The more young Bobby watches, the more he emulates the better players he sees, such as Stewart Maiden, a club professional originally from Scotland. By the time he is 14, Bobby is good enough to reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur tournament.

As sportswriters of the era such as O.B. Keeler and Grantland Rice take a keen interest in him, Bobby wins the state amateur championship at 16 and the U.S. Open itself at 18, even defeating the greatest golfer of that time, the colorful Walter Hagen. He also attends Georgia Tech, where he receives a diploma and meets Mary Malone, whom he ultimately marries.

Bobby has a hot temper that affects his game and reputation. His first time at St. Andrews, in 1921, Bobby walks off the course after 11 holes of the third round, expressing his dislike for the course. His idol Harry Vardon, who would win The Open Championship six times during his career, cautions Bobby never to quit, particularly at St. Andrews, which he considers the greatest golf course of all.

Before long, Bobby is a great success, winning four major tournaments in one year. But by 1930, he has lost interest in playing golf. He becomes a lawyer instead and retires from the sport at age 28. Bobby continues to influence the game in other ways, however, designing courses, also becoming one of the founders of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament.



The film was shot in multiple locations, including Southern California, Georgia: Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA, East Lake Golf Club, Castleberry Hill, Covington, Griffin; and Scotland and St. Andrews, Fife.[citation needed]


Box office performance[edit]

The film was a commercial failure, with an opening weekend gross of $1.2 million and $2,707,913 overall,[3] against a production cost of $20 million.[2]

Critical response[edit]

The film received negative reviews with a 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[4] On Metacritic, which uses an average of critics' reviews, the film has a 45/100 rating, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[5]


External links[edit]